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Northeaster: Winslow Homer.

Do you ever think about water? What is water? What do you do with water? What color is water? You drink it. You swim in it. You float in it. Water is called rain. It is called mist. It is called snow. It is called ice. It is called river. It is called ocean.

Because it is so many things, water is one of the most difficult subjects to paint. Water is liquid. Water is solid. You will know this if you jump off a diving board and do a "bellybuster" into the water. It is hard enough to hurt. Water is clear. You can see through it. Water is colorful. It has its own color and shows the color of the things in it. Water is weak. You can easily move your hand through it. Water is strong. It can crack huge rocks.

Many artists have tried to paint water. Winslow Homer was a painter from America. He was one of the very best painters of water. He loved to paint the ocean. He painted the ocean striking against the big rocks along the coast of Maine, where he lived. When the wind is strong from the Northeast, this is called a Northeaster. This Northeaster has whipped up the ocean waters into huge waves, foam and mist. The sky is dark and heavy. Does the ocean water look strong? Does it make you feel afraid, or free or cold? People often think that water is blue. Is this water blue?

Homer used the medium of watercolor to make his beautiful ocean pictures. He loved the water and wanted you to see its beauty in his paintings.

A Painting or Drawing to Try

Look at the water in a stream, river or ocean and think of these questions: What color is water? What things do you see through the water? What is reflected in the water?

Make your own drawing or painting of water: You might want to show just the surface of the water and the reflections on it, or the things you see through the water.

You might want to include other things with the water, such as a beach, rocks, trees, etc.

Tell your friends about what you have learned and what you like about the water you have painted.

Words to discuss

colorful Northeaster medium watercolor

H.T. Niceley is a professor at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, and a frequent contributor to SchoolArts.
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Title Annotation:watercolor painting by Winslow Homer
Author:Niceley, H.T.
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Biography
Date:Feb 1, 1991
Words:409
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